Shown above are two power steering pumps. The one on the left is for a newer vehicle, the one on the right the old fashioned style many of you may be familiar with. Of course the main thing they have in common is that they do their job by creating hydraulic pressure on a specially designed fluid that works with the steering gearbox or rack & pinion steering assembly to provide power assistance to the steering assembly. If you’ve ever tried to steer a car without the engine running, you know how difficult that is so it is easy to understand how important the power steering system is to the safe operation of your vehicle.
This system is predominantly a “closed” or “sealed” system, but over time, this fluid needs to be changed to protect the components from wearing from the inside. Remember, it is always less expensive to change the fluid that protects the part than to replace the part itself.
The reason the fluid needs to be changed over time is that the additives that make up the specially designed fluid can break down and cause excessive wear on internal components. Since these components are very expensive, it makes good sense to change the power steering fluid at the correct interval. Your owners manual or service professional will have that information.
Since it is a closed system, the interval is nothing at all like your typical oil change. Most power steering systems will go at least 60,000 miles before the first fluid exchange is warranted.
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